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Jamaica probing claim that woman was raped by Bahamian Immigration Officer

  • Written by News Jamaica
  • Published in local news
Featured Foreign Affairs Minister Senator A. J. Nicholson Foreign Affairs Minister Senator A. J. Nicholson
KINGSTON, December 22, 2014 -The Government of Jamaica has launched an investigation into reports that a Jamaican woman was raped by a senior immigration officer in the Bahamas.

Senator A.J. Nicholson, Jamaica's Foreign Affairs Minister, on Sunday said he has been in discussion with Minister of  Foreign Affairs & Immigration for the Bahamas, Fred Mitchell, and will shortly receive a report on the incident.

He said Mr. Mitchell had "stated that he will be doing everything in his power to ensure the proper investigation of what has been alleged, and he will be back in touch with me this week."

The Jamaican woman, who is a legal resident of the Bahamas and is married to a Bahamian, alleged that the incident took place at the home of  the immigration officer.                             

She said it took place after a raid by the police a week ago, following which she and several other Jamaican women were released into the custody of  immigration authorities.

The  immigration officer accused of raping the Jamaican woman in his comments on the matter,  said "The law will take its course."

Asked about the rape allegations, he responded: "I don't know anything about that. I can't comment. Whatever is out there, in time it will be sorted out."

The officer, who was detained last Wednesday, has since been released from police custody pending further investigation.

In the meantime, he has been sent on indefinite administrative leave while the matter is being investigated.

The Bahamian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration issued a statement on Saturday.

"The appropriate steps for disciplinary action have been taken. All necessary steps, including prosecution, suspension and dismissal from the public service, will be applied where warranted," said a ministry spokesperson in the release.

"Once again, the ministry wishes to indicate that it does not condone or sanction in any way, shape or form abuse of any kind by any officer of the department. It will not be tolerated and the strongest measures will be taken where there are violations of the rights of people," the spokesperson further stated.

Bahamas Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Fred Mitchell said in a statement that he personally spoke to Jamaica's honorary consul to The Bahamas to convey his "deep regret" at the allegations and assured the consul that the matter will be thoroughly investigated.

The immigration officer at the centre of the rape accusation has been in the department for some 35 years.

He sits on high-level government committees that deal with victims' rights and is well-known for his participation in seminars and training sessions that deal with victims' rights.

Last modified onMonday, 22 December 2014 07:12